A discussion on CNN led to two Republican strategists berating each other over the GOP’s continued embrace of former President Donald Trump. Amanda Carpenter and Alice Stewart also sparred over lawmakers who continue to deny that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election.
“The conference deserves someone that is going to unite the conference and help them win back the House in 2022,” insisted Stewart.
“Amanda, even if it’s uniting behind a lie?” anchor Poppy Harlow asked.
Yeah this is the dumb, stupid, tribalism that got us into this mess. The dumb, stupid tribalism where people can say, I will support Donald Trump no matter what because red team, yeah, blue team, bad. I mean, this is why we have to break this up. And [Congresswoman] Liz Cheney [R-WY] is not going to sacrifice an ounce of her conservative policy beliefs because she knows how to put country first. National security, democracy, our institutions are what unite us as a country – as Americans – not getting behind a big lie and covering up for an insurrection because we wear a red hat.
Host Jim Sciutto chimed in:
Alice Stewart, why can’t the party, before getting to issues of tax rates and so on, state as a fact, that Joe Biden’s the president? I watched [Senator] John Barrasso [R-WY] on the air wriggle and writhe – he just wouldn’t say the words – he would say, ‘he is in the White House now,’ he wouldn’t say he won. Why can’t Republicans acknowledge that fact? It sounds like, I mean, will you acknowledge that fact? Why can’t sitting lawmakers acknowledge it?
Stewart spoke for herself:
I’ve said this from election night on. The election was free and fair and when Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden won, he is the free and fair winner. I applauded him. I support him. He is our president of the United States. Why more Republicans don’t acknowledge that, I don’t know. But what is big and dumb and stupid, Amanda, is for Republicans to go back and continue to re-litigate the past instead of uniting together on policies and opposing… the midterm elections need to be about policy and not the past.
Carpenter then jumped back in to say that real Republicans “will continue to look at the camera and say, ‘Donald Trump incited an insurrection and doesn’t deserve to lead the Republican Party.’ There is no unity coming under the red flag until then.”
When Stewart tried to argue that the midterm elections in 2022 should “be about policy,” Carpenter shut her down again.
“I think protecting our institutions is a policy. I think when it comes to telling lies for people to get into the voting booth, that is a policy. I think when people ramp back voting rights based on big lies, that is a policy,” she said, “and I don’t agree with those policies. Maybe you do, but I don’t.”
Watch the madness unfold below:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.